picking up whatever comes to hand


If you make slogans

based on words and sprout interpretations

based on objects, then you fall into the bag of antique curios,

and you will never be able to find this true realm

of absolute awareness beyond



At this stage you are free

to go forward in the wild field without choosing,

picking up whatever comes to hand: the meaning of the ancestral

teachers is clear in all that grows there. What’s more, the thickets of green

bamboo and the masses of yellow flowers and the fences and walls

and tiles and pebbles are inanimate things

teaching the dharma. 


The water birds and the

groves of trees expound the truths of suffering,

emptiness, and selflessness. Based on the one true reality,

they extend objectless compassion, and from the great

jewel light of nirvana they reveal uncontrived,

surpassingly wondrous powers.


Changqing said,

“When you meet a companion

on the Path, stand shoulder to shoulder and

go on: then your lifetime of learning

will be completed.”